Free screening Chicago Latino Film Festival
When: Wednesdays, March 15, 22 2017 6:30pm
Where: Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, Claudia Cassidy Theater
The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago presents a film showcase from January – March 2017. Six films hailing from Spain, Peru, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Venezuela and Colombia portray stories that prove youth has no age. Realize that one is never too old to fall in love, have fun with friends, pursue dreams or have the adventure of a lifetime. Follow personal journeys and realize that even the old in age can be young at heart. Spanish with English subtitles.
Upcoming schedule: movie descriptions here.
Upside Down / Patas Arriba
Dir. Alejandro García Wiedemann, 2011, 92 mins, Venezuela
Wednesday, March 15, 6:30pm
Sofia and the Stubborn Man / Sofia y el Terco
Dir. Andrés Burgos, 2012, 82 mins, Columbia
Wednesday, March 22, 6:30pm
Who is Claudia Cassidy?
If you attend events at the Chicago Cultural Center you’ve no doubt visited the Claudia Cassidy Theater. I was wondering who is she/was she? Of course the spectacular Newberry Library, which holds her papers, has a nice biography online. To summarize: she was a sometimes caustic Chicago Tribune theater critic while maligned by some was still respected enough by her peers to get a theater named after her.
Claudia Cassidy was born in 1900 in the port town of Shawneetown, IL, where she first encountered the performing arts on show boats that cruised the Ohio River. When she was 14, Cassidy’s parents George and Olive moved the family to Champaign, IL. After graduating from the University of Illinois in 1921, Cassidy worked as a secretary at the Chicago Journal of Commerce, where she moved into theater criticism after an editor, looking for someone to write a last minute review, spotted her in the office. Her sharp, opinionated writing style attracted many fans, and her column became an important feature of the Journal.
In 1941 she moved on to a larger audience at the Chicago Sun, but left after a year for the Chicago Tribune at the behest of publisher Robert R. McCormick. While at the Tribune, Cassidy wrote her “On the Aisle” commentary as well as other reviews and articles steadily until 1965, and beginning in 1949 made annual summer tours of European festivals for “Europe on the Aisle.”
After 1965, Cassidy wrote on a free-lance basis for the Tribune, Chicago Magazine, and other publications, and from 1968 to 1983 she hosted a weekly radio program of arts criticism on Chicago’s WFMT-FM.
Cassidy, sometimes referred to as “Acidy Cassidy,” was an influential presence on the Chicago theater scene, particularly from 1942-1965 when her Tribune byline was a consistent feature in the paper. Her writing alienated and angered some in the arts community, but her praise also promoted the careers of others, including Tennessee Williams, Lotte Lehmann, and Maria Callas. Cassidy fiercely supported Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie,” which premiered at Chicago’s Civic Theatre in 1944. She also strongly influenced events at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, where her public admiration or disdain of music directors had a direct effect on the CSO’s history.
Cassidy was married to William J. Crawford for 57 years. After his death in 1986, she retreated from public life and lived alone at the Drake Hotel. Her last published writing was for the 1990-1991 Lyric Opera program book. She died after a brief illness on July 21, 1996.
Her obit in the NYTimes Claudia Cassidy, 96, Arts Critic; Did Not Mince Words in Chicago give more details.Here’s an excerpt:
Ms. Cassidy wrote an energetic, often florid prose, and she took no prisoners. Sometimes referred to as “acidy Cassidy,” she hounded the conductors … off the podium of the Chicago Symphony and out of town, and her scathing denunciations of most visiting Broadway productions as sorry leftovers shipped out to the hinterlands made her the scourge of New York producers. Some artists left the city vowing never to return.
Still she got a theater named after her in 1997. Here’s the Trib article on the dedication. ow we know!